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September 16, 2018
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PTBA submits budget proposals, recommends uniform sales tax rate

Business

September 16, 2018

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KARACHI: Pakistan Tax Bar Association (PTBA) has submitted its proposals to Finance Minister Asad Umar for the expected budget to be presented by the new government. The proposals emphasised on uniform service tax law for both federal and provincial government.

Abdul Qadir Memon, president, PTBA, on Saturday said the association had sent the proposals to the finance minister for consideration in the forthcoming National Assembly session, where additional budget proposals would be discussed.

Indirect taxes, with suggestion to harmonise federal and provincial taxes, was included in the proposals that mainly covered the area of indirect taxes.

The PTBA suggested rationalisation of higher rate of tax, stating that present standard rate of 17 percent sales tax with an additional three percent value addition on commercial imports was very high. “It is a bottleneck in including people to come within the tax net, besides also contributing towards inflation,” it added.

Standard sales tax rate of 15 percent was suggested, which should be gradually reduced to 12.5 percent, the PTBA urged.

The association said lower tax rate would encourage the unregistered taxpayers to get themselves registered so they could avail the benefits of input adjustment, which was currently not available to unregistered persons. Moreover, the same will serve as a step towards documentation of the economy.

The PTBA suggested abolition of presumptive / value-addition or fixed tax regime.

It proposed that all such tax schemes should be abolished and all such sectors / goods should be brought under the uniform and normal tax regime.

The apex tax bar of the country said that before issuing SRO and notifications, stakeholders should be taken on board as it would reduce litigation.

It suggested the government to allow adjustment of sales tax refund with income tax liability.

The PTBA said that on various occasions, a registered person’s funds were stuck with Inland Revenue in the form of sales tax refund, while at the same time the taxpayer was required to pay income tax at the time of assessment of his income tax liability.

Resultantly, the taxpayer has to bear the burden of making payment of income tax liability, whereas his own money is lying idle with the department.

The tax bar recommended not to initiate an audit unless specific scope, guidelines and mechanism of investigation was available in the law.

Likewise, if detailed investigation of a registered person has already been conducted, there should be no need for an audit.

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